The hits just keep on coming for Northwestern Oklahoma State University when it comes to national recognition of its nursing programs.
The past year has seen the school’s nursing program recognized by several groups for everything from flexibility to accessibility to cost and reputation.
“We’ve had some really great recognition nationwide,” said Dr. Shelly Wells, professor of nursing and chair of the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing. “Those are just a few. We’re working hard.”
Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s hybrid BSN-to-DNP nurse practitioner program was recently named the best in the country out of 203 accredited colleges and universities in the nation evaluated by
Criteria used for the ranking included flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. created a Top 35 Nurse Practitioner Programs list from their evaluations.
Other factors used to evaluate each program included program strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, and student engagement.
According to their website, they looked at how easy it would be to earn back the cost of each degree program. They calculated the average weekly wages of the occupations that a particular degree leads to versus the cost of the program.
Northwestern is one of only two public universities in Oklahoma to offer a Family Nurse Practitioner program, was the first public university with a BSN to DNP offering, and the only program in the state with an emphasis on nursing in rural communities.
Wells, a former March of Dimes Nurse of the Year and Nightingale Award of Nursing Excellence recipient from the Oklahoma Nurses Association said the school’s faculty is the driving force in its success.
“We have a very caring faculty. Being a small program, our faculty know our students – across all our programs,” Wells said. “We’re known for our faculty quality, caring and one-on-one relationships with students and that’s what I think leads to our success.”
This past year also saw NWOSU rated in the top 100 for affordable RN to BSN programs in the country by tabbed NWOSU as the No. 1 RN to BSN program in Oklahoma. put Northwestern in the top 30 among all programs in the Southwest based on affordability.
Wells – who also serves as ONA’s President – pointed out the NWOSU Nursing program is among the top in the state in terms of national RN licensing examination (NCLEX) pass rates.
The most recent BSN-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner class boasted a 100-percent pass rate on all certifications and 100 percent job placement.
“Maybe that’s how we’re getting all this recognition,” Wells laughed. “We lay a foundation of unique needs for rural nursing care and providership. We start on day one with that and go throughout the program focusing on those unique needs.”
A diverse, caring faculty is the backbone for it all.
“We are extremely proud of our faculty and staff members who work hard to give our students the best experiences to maximize learning,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “Receiving affirmation from outside sources shows that our students learn from the best through an affordable program, and gain employment after graduation.”
Wells stressed the availability of funds for traditional nursing students and the university’s long history of philanthropy and scholarship that yields many students graduating with little to no debt.
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